XenomiRs and miRNA homeostasis in health and disease: Evidence that diet and dietary miRNAs directly and indirectly influence circulating miRNA profiles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Contributions of dietary miRNAs to circulating small RNA profiles would have profound implications for interpretation of miRNA biomarker studies: presumptive disease-specific markers might instead indicate responses to disease-associated quantitative or qualitative dietary alteration. This examination weighs the evidence for a 2-fold hypothesis: first, that ingested biological matter contributes directly to the miRNA complement of body compartments; and second, that these diet-derived exogenous miRNAs (or "xenomiRs") affect total miRNA profiles as part of a circulating miRNA homeostasis that is altered in many diseases. Homeostasis of highdensity lipoprotein (HDL), a known miRNA carrier-provides a model as a proposed component of broader miRNA homeostasis. Further research into the dietary xenomiR hypothesis is needed to ensure rigor in the search for truly disease-specific miRNA biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1154
Number of pages8
JournalRNA Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012



  • Biomarker
  • Cancer
  • Cholesterol
  • Diet
  • HDL
  • Homeostasis
  • LDL
  • Nutrition
  • XenomiR
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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